CSA involvement

Beyond providing general info, CSA can get involved in some cases of academic mistreatment.  

  • Students or parents are welcome to ask questions of CSA, before and while taking action.

  • In some cases, CSA may reach out to professors or university personnel directly.

See below for more info. 

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Asking questions

The most common way to ask CSA a question or seek advice is to:

  • First post your question to your university's subreddit. Reddit is a public discussion forum with anonymous users. A sub-forum (called a subreddit) exists for most universities, else you can post to the general college subreddit:  https://www.reddit.com/r/college/

  • Then, email info@collegestudentadvocates.org, with a link to your post, and a brief summary. You may include info intentionally omitted from your post (like professor name).

 

We encourage the Reddit approach because:

  • You may get good input from people at your school, before we reply (and we can't reply to all). And, school professors or staff may see the post, and proceed to answer or resolve the issue. 

  • We prefer to reply publicly so more students can benefit. 

A good public post: 

  • Is concise

    • Rewriting helps, each time reducing to get down to the essentials.

  • Sticks to essential facts

    • List the most relevant facts. Don't accuse or make judgements. ​

  • Avoids posting professor names​

    • Posting names could cause ​problems and is usually unnecessary. 

    • Posting the course's department (e.g, Physics) or even the course number (Physics 101) can help.

Of course, there are reasons why you may not wish to post publicly. You are thus welcome to email us directly. We can't reply to all emails due to volume, but we'll do our best. 

Note: Any CSA reply or info is considered personal opinion. CSA is not liable for any actions students or others take. 

CSA outreach

In extreme cases, like gross mistreatment of a student with severe consequences, or serious mistreatment affecting many students, CSA may reach out directly university staff. 

  • CSA seeks to carry out an escalated approach, typically starting with the professor and department staff (chair, vice-chair, undergrad advisor), and if needed escalates to school/college staff (dean, assoc. dean), then to university staff (vice-chancellor/vice-provost, provost, president/chancellor, student conduct office, dean of students, as appropriate). 

  • CSA's role is to inform staff and encourage resolution. Often, shining a light on mistreatment is enough to achieve resolution, as higher-level staff was unaware and wants good treatment of their students. 

  • Sometimes just knowing an outside agency is aware of mistreatment "nudges" staff to take action who otherwise might not have prioritized action 

    • CSA may publicize unresolved cases (typically from Reddit posts) on its website, further encouraging universities to resolve problems before reaching that point

    • CSA may alert a school's local media of severe unresolved problems as well